Where to Go Shopping in Keene

For warm wintry comfort head to Keene

Dean the owner and Bula the bulldog at Your Kitchen Store

Photo by Melissa DiPalma

My ice cream maker called — it wants to go into hibernation. Sadly, it is time to put away all things “summer” and get on with accepting the cooler days of winter. The months ahead mean hardier comfort food (slow cookers) and piles of leggings, sweaters and glittering accessories to bring light to the darker days. Go ahead, take one last foliage trip and head to downtown Keene, where you’ll find the retailers warm and welcoming.

Newsflash: The spiral slicer is the hottest item going out of Your Kitchen Store & More this season, and you can find all kinds in all prices from $29.99 to $129.99. If it’s a vegetable, it can be sliced paper-thin (fun for finicky eaters). Look for knives from Zwilling, Wusthof and the Ken Onion Rain series (the unique patterning on the surface of the blade is designed to keep starchy foods like potatoes from clinging) and more. You’ll find a sophisticated selection of juicers (we’re not talking OJ anymore) in several price ranges as well as coffee makers, pots, pans, baking items and other trendy kitchen items.

Hannah Grimes Marketplace will touch your heart for several reasons. Almost all of the products come from a 150-mile radius, and there’s usually an adorable animal in the store up for adoption (courtesy of the SPCA). Look for wine decanters from Funky Rock Designs, wooden ornaments from MM Nichols, pottery, yarn from The Shearer’s Yarn in Walpole, thoughtful note cards, balsam fir pillows and local wines. The Make Your Own Gummies Kit ($13) is a must for stocking stuffers.

Bring on the Evites this holiday season; you will totally have something fabulous to wear, thanks to Miranda’s On Main. The Joseph Ribkoff holiday collection this year is amazing and offers something for every personality. Look also for Desigual and Frank Lyman (which is showing tons of vegan leather). The staff here is buttoned-up, patient, sophisticated (like you) and committed to the “wow” factor. Outfit yourself here for a holiday party and no doubt you will be remembered.

If there is one boutique that can be dangerous to a Keene State College student’s budget, that would be Moe - Momentum Clothing. This store rocks with the latest from Citizens For Humanity, Free People, BB Dakota dresses and tons of tops and leggings. Look for great outfits for flirty nights and holiday house parties. Let the staff help you learn the proper way of layering and you’re good to go. Save room for accessories; there is virtually nothing you can do to over-accessorize. The sales rack here is always full with generous markdowns.

Colony Mill Antiques

Antiques at Colony Mill

There’s no place better than a shop that makes you laugh out loud and that is just what you’ll find at Ingenuity Country Store. Just inside the door is where you’ll find the chocolate-covered bugs, including the larvae and crickets for $2.50 a box. This shop is jammed-packed with giggles, great gifts, toys, stuffed animals, specialty foods, wines, soup mixes and more. The gift baskets, small and large, are exquisite and beautifully arranged (very sophisticated!) and feature a variety of themes.

Support your local bookstore owner and New England authors this gift-giving season with a gift certificate from The Toadstool Bookshop. There’s no better gift than introducing a friend to a great writer. The staff here really knows their books and their customers. One of the most popular writers in Keene is national best-selling author Archer Mayor, who has just released his 25th book. Look for calendars, journals, special interest books, cooking and more. Get on the e-mail list for notice of year-round events.

Antiques at Colony Mill is a great place to spend an hour or two if you like to reminisce about those happy days at a grandparent’s cottage. With more than 85 vendors, this place has something for just about anyone. You will find old trunks, furniture, children’s desks, coin collections, military memorabilia, glass and, of course, plenty of salt and pepper shakers.

Urban Exchange offers a nice collection of gently worn, brand-name and designer clothes in an atmosphere that inspires shopping for a bargain. No mothball aroma here, where you can also find a good price on sweaters, outerwear, scarves and a few hardly used designer handbags. Before spending the big bucks on designer jeans, buy a pair from here and see if you like them.

Synergy is a cozy shop, featuring a collection of clothing, shoes and sunglasses that tend to pique the interests of explorers of all kinds. Look for high-end sunglasses by Ray Ban, Maui Jim, Oakley and others. Discover backpacks and outdoor wear by North Face and shoes by Merrill, Uggs and Børn. There are also accessories, including the all-so-popular Alex & Ani bracelets.

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